Playworks Arizona AmeriCorps members are at our partner schools creating safe and inclusive playgrounds, running Junior Coach Leadership Programs, and coaching students in girls soccer, girls basketball, and coed kickball. They are making a HUGE difference through the power of play.
Without further ado, we are thrilled to announce Coach Lupe as our January Coach of the Month!
Coach Lupe grew up in Arizona. He is a first-year AmeriCorps member with a background in education. He came to us from Laveen Elementary School where he was an instructional associate for the special needs department.
Coach Lupe was placed in a veteran school and wanted to be able to leave his mark. One of Playworks’ core values is inclusion. At recess, Coach Lupe realized that his special needs students came out at a different time than all other grades. He wanted their recess to look and feel like a Playworks recess, even if there were only 30 students on the playground. During his Class Game Times, he noticed that the students loved tag games and enjoyed playing together as a group. Coach Lupe mapped the yard with a huge tagging area where all students could participate in a safe and non-threatening way.
The trust and respect Coach Lupe has modeled has trickled down to his Junior Coaches, who ask Coach Lupe to be a part of the inclusive recess. Coach Lupe has created a game guide for each special education teacher and instructional aide so they can bring their students out and play these games and reaffirm rules with a social-emotional learning focus.
Coach Lupe has transformed recess into a major inclusion possibility by giving these students with special needs a chance to engage in safe, healthy play. Join us in giving Coach Lupe a double high-five for helping to #EnergizeAZ!